A councillor who described demonstrators as a "sinister underbelly of Cornish nationalists" is found to have breached the code of conduct in two places.

An internal investigation at Cornwall Council has now ordered Dulcie Tudor, division member for Threemilestone and Gloweth, to make an public apology within 28 days, although she can ask for a review of the decision.

Ms Tudor has since confirmed that she had indeed requested a review and that the process was ongoing.

In the published decision notice Ms Tudor, who last month was elected chairman of the council's strategic planning committee, was found to have breached the codes stating "you must treat others with respect" and "you must not conduct yourself in a manner which is contrary to the council's duty to promote and maintain high standards of conduct by members."

A third alleged breach, of the code "you must not discriminate against another", was rejected.

The ruling from Eleanor Garraway, corporate governance officer, comes after Cornwall Council's monitoring officer received 11 complaints over Ms Tudor's conduct during a public protest outside New County Hall in Truro.

It was alleged that during this time Ms Tudor spoke to a local radio station over her views on the protest, which was being carried out in relation to perceived overdevelopment of Cornwall.

During the interview Ms Tudor, a Liberal Democrat councillor, said: "...I totally get where they're coming from, I totally get it. Apart from the few select people here who are some sort of sinister underbelly of Cornish nationalists, apart from that I totally get it..."

As part of the investigation Ms Tudor said she had been "trolled as a novice councillor" on Facebook and in the past received "vicious" emails.

Shortly ahead of the radio interview she noted a banner directed at her personally and saw someone known to the council for sending her "abusive emails".

In her decision notice, Ms Garraway said Ms Tudor's approach "could be perceived as disrespectful to those present" and that the background to her comments "did not excuse" them.

By breaching this code, it therefore follows she had also breached the members' conduct code.

Ms Garraway wrote in her report: "I do consider this is a relatively minor breach, but for the reasons set out in this notice it is a breach nonetheless."

Ms Tudor told the Packet that as she had requested a review she was prevented from commenting on the matter until this had concluded. 

Cornish campaign group Kernow Matters To Us, which submitted one of the complaints, said: "KMTU welcomes the findings and robustly condemns all those, including those holding elected public office who use derogatory language against Cornish people, some of them Cornish patriots, and indeed others who peacefully and democratically express their concerns regarding what they believe to be the over development and urbanisation of Cornwall and destruction of its environment and heritage. "Members actively monitor media and all such breaches will be reported to official bodies by way of formal complaint, including to law enforcement agencies and the Council of Europe where appropriate."